Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps has been on quite a role as Robert Venditti has further established the partnership between the GLC and Sinestro Corps. The last issue in particular delivered an ending that could have larger ramifications for the DCU as Rip Hunter showed up with a Green Lantern ring on his finger. Seeing the character suddenly show up in the present with some ominous words for Hal and the others creates a lot of questions for what is going to happen next. With that said, let’s see exactly what happens next with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #19.
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: V Ken Marion
Inker: Dexter Vines
Colorist: Dinei Ribeiro
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: At Mogo’s infirmary, Soranik runs scans on Rip Hunter but can’t figure out if traveling through time caused his recent trauma.
Hal goes to touch Rip’s Green Lantern ring and as he does it reacts, telling Hal he cannot touch the ring. John uses his status as leader to get Rip’s ring off and asks who it belongs to but gets no answer. John then asks the ring to reveal when it was last updated. The ring says its last update was in the year 2047.
Rip suddenly wakes up and grabs John, ordering him to give back his ring. Hal and Kyle are quick to defend John. Rip is shocked to realize who he is in the room and learns he is in the year 2017.
Though Soranik wants to run more tests on him, Hal is quick to ask about where Rip believes the Green Lanterns are. Rip reveals he recently visited the year 2047 where there were no Green Lanterns in existence, which clued him into the timeline being corrupted. John asks Rip where he got the Green Lantern ring from. Rip says John gave him the ring to show the others he is an ally when the time was late.
In Space Sector 563 Sinestro Corps’ Gorin-Sunn and Green Lantern Lorix are severely injured and talk about how neither wants to die before the other. A mysterious person shows up displaying disgust at the two Lanterns. Lorix tries to hit the guy but the his Prism Beast protects him. The mysterious guy talks about how he is going to mend the future.
Back on Mogo, Rip asks for his ring back but Hal is against it. Rip reveals that future John set the ring to only have data and communication functions as he wasn’t a chosen Green Lantern. John decides to play along but says he will hold on to the ring.
Rip tells the ring to display its data package. The ring shows the image of a man that Rip has come to arrest named Sarko, the same guy attacking Gorin-Sunn and Lorix.
Back in an unknown part of Space Sector 563, Sarko reveals that he is the last advocate of the Yellow Light of Fear in his timeline as the Sinestro Corps are no more after giving themselves up. Sarko goes on to reveal that at some point in the future the Sinestro Corps and Green Lanterns would build a Yellow Central Power Battery as a sign of unity. That unity would be further displayed by Guy and Arkillo’s partnership showing that fear could be tamed. Eventually this would lead to Soranik making her final decision as the Sinestro Corps leader by dismantling the Yellow Central Power Battery and everyone becoming members of the Green Lantern Corps.
Gorin-Sunn and Lorix don’t believe Sarko’s story. Sarko says that the day will come even though it has been proven that the Green Lantern Corps continue to fail to save the universe at every chance. Sarko says he’s in the present to ensure the Sinestro Corps reign supreme through the power he found. Lorix doesn’t think that Sarko has a chance but Sarko says the Prism Beasts have much more power than he understands.
Back on Mogo, Rip tells John and the others that Sarko is a zealot who will use what he found today to destroy the Green Lantern Corps. Rip tells John it’s his choice to believe him but that the clock is ticking. John orders Kyle and Soranik to contact all the Green Lanterns and Sinestro Corps members to have their rings at full charge.
As they fly around Mogo, Kyle asks Soranik what she thinks. Soranik doesn’t find time travel weird given how Sinestro got his ring from another universe. Kyle doubts Rip’s story and wonders what else the ring Rip has knows. Soranik says that John is right not to delve into future information is dangerous as it would change things.
Kyle tells Soranik she should lighten up and says they should go watch the first two Terminator movies together. Soranik shows no interest in talking about their history. Kyle says being a Green Lantern again reminded him of their time together as a couple and wants to give it another shot. Soranik says they should focus on what is at hand and says they should do their jobs.
At the infirmary Hal asks Rip if he knows what Sarko does to change the future. Rip says his logs only show the aftermath. John asks about where Sarko ended up when coming to the present. Rip reveals that Sarko traveled to Space Sector 563.
Hal is alarmed by this and begins researching the space sector. Before he can get to far Salaak contacts him to mention the Prism Beasts are heading towards Mogo.
John alerts everyone on Mogo to get ready for an invasion. As everyone scrambles Hal tells John he will buy everyone time while John comes up with a plan.
Hal flies off and instantly creates an arsenal of weapons to fire at the invading Prism Beasts. None of Hal’s attacks dent the Prism Beast and he is left surrounded by all the invaders just above Mogo. End of issue.
The Good: After spending a lot of time delving into how the partnership between the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps will work Robert Venditti gives us the first true signs of how it may not work out. The way he goes about it highlights one of the cycles that the Green Lantern Corps have continued to found themselves in that has been problematic in the past. In doing so Venditti is able to give a greater purpose to an exposition heavy Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #19.
With how things have gone so far in the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps alliance having Rip and Sarko appear from the future gave us a better idea where things may go. Seeing how this alliance would eventually lead to the Sinestro Corps being disbanded and everyone just becoming Green Lanterns puts a spotlight on something that Venditti continues to toy with. That something is the idea of balance in the Emotional Spectrum. It was something that was brought up with Hal and Kyle’s rabid search for Saint Walker and bringing the Blue Lantern Corps back.
Now in learning that the Sinestro Corps are on a path where the Yellow Light of Fear may disappear we could be faced with yet another imbalance created by this alliance. As shown in the past, when the Green Lantern Corps becomes too powerful in their role as the police officers of the universe it only leads to greater misfortune. By grounding Sarko’s mission as zealot of the Yellow Light in this position Venditti is able to create a villain that is more layered. That sense of purpose, especially being the last one that believes in the old ways of the Sinestro Corps, allowed us to understand what Sarko is doing even though we don’t agree with his destructive methods in “fixing” things.
Sarko’s mission and the possible future of the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps alliance allowed Venditti to integrate Rip Hunter’s mission as a Time Master into the series. Given that Rip hasn’t been seen in the New 52 version of the DCU all that much this was the perfect way to reintroduce him into the universe. With how much time manipulation has been a thing with other stories in DC’s comics this team-up with the Green Lanterns could help build Rip to be an even more important character down the line.
Rip’s presence in this issue also helped to further highlight the differences in Hal and John’s approach as a Green Lantern. While Hal is still the brash loner he always has been, we are also able to see how John is the one that is the one who thinks things through. In portraying the two in such a way that compliments the other Venditti is able to show us why John makes a better leader of the Green Lantern Corps than Hal. This difference also made Hal going out on his own to be the big hero at the end of this issue much more effective as he is yet again faced with another example of why he shouldn’t face everything on his own.
Though not as strong as other artist that have worked on this series, V Ken Marion provided some solid artwork. Marion drove home Hal’s more aggressive approach to interrogations compared to John. The same goes for how he drew the light hearted scene between Kyle and Soranik. He also did a good job making Sarko’s Prism Beast look intimidating with the designs he gave them with their crystal beast look.
The Bad: The one part of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #19 that did not work is the portrayal of Kyle Rayner. Kyle’s interactions with Soranik in particular is worrisome as it felt like Kyle was taking a step back as a character. Ever since teaming back up with Hal and the others, especially now that he is a Green Lantern again, it seems like Venditti is going all in on portraying him as the little brother of the four Earth Green Lanterns. In doing so it feels like Kyle is taking several steps back from how he has been developed to be the Torchbearer of all the Lantern Corps.
If the plan is to get him back with Soranik, hopefully it is to make them both stronger as Soranik has been through a lot of strong growth over the last few years. It would be a shame to see that thrown away in order to pair them back up together. The way Kyle and Soranik interacted in this issue did not give me much hope but I do trust Venditti to turn things around given how strong his work on this series has been. Though it was definitely a swing and miss in this issue on that front.
Overall: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #19 was a solid set-up issue for the latest conflict that the alliance between the GLC and Sinestro Corps face. The presence of Rip Hunter, especially in his chemistry with John Stewart and Hal Jordan, helped keep the pace of this exposition heavy issue moving forward. Now with the set-up out of the way we can look forward to the epic space action we have come to expect from the series in the next issue.